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  • Writer's pictureAya

As an expat, what you need to bring to the US

Updated: May 27, 2019

Moving can be a headache. Needless to say, it could be a nightmare if you move overseas. Our last moving before international relocation happened in the same town. Probably 7 minutes away on foot. So we could go back and forth between the two houses, and it was very easy. Even though we had a one-year-old daughter, I was 5 months pregnancy, and we were working full-time, it was manageable.

Several years later, we were moving to the States and it was so different and hard. I had a business trip until two weeks before the moving date, and one of my children got chicken pox a week before. But the biggest reason for the challenge was we had to prepare a lot of things in advance. If you forget to close an internet connection when you move in the same country, all you have to do would be making a phone call during the business hour from your new house. But it becomes a big challenge from overseas. First, the business hour can be during the night in your host country. If you have to send some money, it will give you a huge headache.

We didn’t have time to sort our stuff, so we packed even garbage, then we unpack it and threw it away from our new house in the new country.

Also, we failed to pack some of our documents and had a hard time settling in.

If you are packing for your relocation, please not to forget to bring all the documents below. So your settlement would be a little easier.

<What you will need when you travel>

  • Passport and Visa

  • Plane ticket

  • Hotel & transportation confirmation (with the Hotel address & phone number)

  • Contact information of someone who lives in the host country (just in case)

  • Letter from employer verifying your employment

<What you will need to settle down>

You need those document for...

  1. Renting an apartment/house

  2. Opening a bank account

  3. Applying for an SSN (Social Security Number***)

  4. Obtaining a drivers license


  • Original birth certificates*

  • Original marriage certificate*

  • Bank statements for last 3 months**

  • Letter from employer verifying your employment

  • International driving permit and current driver’s license from your home country

  • Medical records, including immunization records**

  • Current prescriptions and contact lens and eyeglass prescriptions

<What you will need for your children>

  • Medical records, including immunization records**

  • Educational records / School report cards**

<Additional items you can consider to bring>

  • Cash or way to access to money for your expense (around one month worth of expense)

  • List of items you packed and shipped

*: If not written in English, a certified translation is recommended

**: If not written in English, a translation is recommended

***: Social Security Number (


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